For my nineteenth, I got whisked away to PDX to celebrate my birth in a city as weird as myself.
We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland! It’s a super cute boutique hotel offering comfortable and spacious rooms with funky decor. A noteworthy element of the Kimpton Monaco is that it is dog friendly. I love dogs so this was a huge perk for me but it is good to keep in mind if they’re not your thing. Although the dogs and room kept me happy, the parking is an extra $44 a night which is not the end of the world – just frustrating when you’re already paying a fair amount for the room. What they lack in free parking, they make up for in happy hour festivities. Nightly from 5-6pm, the hotel offers a wine and social hour for guests – a very thoughtful touch that added to our stay. What also I enjoyed about their hospitality was that the gym offered complimentary mixed nuts. The pictures below are from in the room!
We decided to head over to Powell’s City of Books, which I at first was not keen on. However, the charm and impressive size of the place (over one million books!) quickly made it become a highlight, maybe even my favourite part of the trip. We ended up spending almost three hours there, which would have been longer but we were kicked out at close, 11pm. The hours were spent browsing through the aisles and aisles of all kinds of books, one of which was featured in my last blog post – Books4:YOUrself.
I also really enjoyed wandering along the art district of Portland, Alberta Street. To get there we drove through Alameda, the cutest neighbourhood I have ever seen! It is my personal goal neighbourhood for my life. Alberta St itself boasts refreshing and bright murals, cute shops, delicious food opportunities and more! Here are some of my favourite murals 🙂
I discovered the athletic brand Athleta while in Portland. As a diehard Lululemon fan, I tend to stay loyal to their brand but Athleta has easily become my favourite pair of leggings! The Chakras are so soft and durable (I find that the softer the Lulu leggings, the more delicate they are). If you plan on ordering online, the size chart is true, but I did have to size down to an XS because the waist was baggy on the S.
Prior to arriving in Portland, I was in search of heels for school presentations and ended up finding some amazing Calvin Klein almond pumps at Nordstrom. Nordstrom was really good to me, I also went home with a BLANKNYC vegan leather jacket that is in some (most) of the pictures above!
I was WOWed by the food in Portland! These are the places we visited that I believe warrant a mention.
Kingsland Kitchen was our first food stop and it did not disappoint. We shared the jerk chicken sandwich ($10) – the French bread is soft and warm, the chicken is flavourfully moist, and the pineapple chunks give it a nice tang. It had just the right amount of heat – just on the far edge of spicy without going overboard.
Do not let the wait at the Screendoor deter you from eating here as I am truly unable to describe the amazing service and foodgasm I experienced. The BEST chicken and waffles ( I have ever had! I especially enjoyed these because it’s fried chicken breast (no bones!), the breading is crispy and spicy while the meat remains moist and tender. The sweet potato waffles accompany the chicken perfectly and taste like carrot cake! My mouth is watering just writing about it…
We went to Brunch Box for brunch – shocking, I know! The Monte Cristo sandwich with blackberry jam ($6.75) was really greasy and lacked my favourite part of a breakfast sandwich, a runny yolk. However, the flavours were 10/10 and I would easily smash again.
Blue Star Donuts was recommended to me by a coworker and due to their various locations around north-western US, I decided to give it a try. The two ordered, chocolate almond ganache ($3) and spicy strawberry ($3), unfortunately disappointed. The flavours were yummy, however, the actual donuts seemed stale – not as light and fluffy as I am accustomed to – like Lucky’s Donuts in Vancouver.
Alberta Street is where we found Gumba. What a find that was! It is a small stationary food hut on a lot with a couple other carts. The made in-house burrata, my favourite cheese, was the best I’ve ever had with honey, truffles, and olive oil accompanied by airy yet crispy bread ($12). The Pappardelle pasta with braised short ribs ($12) has tons of flavour and great texture. Pictures of both are attached below!
Alberta Street also brought me to Salt & Straw for ice-cream where I had the sea salt caramel in a fresh waffle cone ($5.10). Comparable to the delicious Earnest or Rain or Shine in Vancouver, the treat satisfied my sweet tooth.
Overall, Portland was a ride. Will be back again soon with my sister! If you guys have any recommendations for places in Portland, let me know!